San Francisco artist Jeremy Fish pays the bills with commercial illustrations for megacorporations such as Microsoft and Nike, but the work he is most proud of is the art he creates for skateboarders. "My introduction to art came through skateboarding graphics on boards, stickers and in magazines," Fish says. "The Dalis and Picassos of my world were Wes Humpston and Pushead. I love being able to give something back to something that I grew up loving so much."
That was then. Now Fish himself has joined the company of those big names. His art hangs in skate shops on boards made by the Unbelievers (a skateboard company he co-owns), and his illustrations appear monthly in his column, "The Big Stupid," in skateboard magazine Slap.
This Friday, the skate shop Lovely (118 West 18th Street, 816-221-5683) displays those boards and other works by Fish (they're also available for purchase) as part of the Get In the Van mobile-art tour. Fish got the idea to display his work at skate shops from a friend in Boulder, Colorado, who suggested that he contact Lovely for a show in Kansas City.
At the helm of his 35-year-old, customized, fur-lined Dodge van, Fish plans to cross the country with close to forty new paintings, a few sculptures, some hand-cut, hand-painted boards and two close friends. Fish says he'll also have items on hand for skater kids who don't have collector-sized checkbooks. "I don't like to sell paintings for more than $500," Fish says. "In general, my stuff is very stripped down. It's not high-end, hoity-toity stuff. My stuff is in a simple language with straightforward messages. I'll have lots of posters, T-shirts and screen-prints that kids can afford."
Everything will be ready for viewing by 6 p.m. Call Lovely for information.-- Michael Vennard
Kansas expatriate Travis Millard -- whose quirky artwork is visible all over Lawrence, from the beer garden at the Replay to the alley right by Henry's -- brings his new work to Olive Gallery and Art Supply (15 East 8th Street in Lawrence, 785-331-4114). The show, which has its opening from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, is called Go Tell It On the Dirt Mound and includes a sepia-toned image of tentacled skulls holding many cell phones and chasing a tiny person. It's cute yet creepy. If you meet the artist, you can decide for yourself whether he is as hot as Seventeen magazine declared him to be a couple of summers back, when he was still doing a comic for Spin.-- Gina Kaufmann
Even though it's just one event in the celebrated American Royal rodeo, the American Royal Barbecue has its very own Web site, so popular are the festivities. People don't just like watching animals run in circles; they also enjoy eating those animals smothered in a variety of delicious sauces. Some of our favorite competing-team names include Holy Cow, Mullet Brothers and We Don't Cook Sheep. This year, participants will be rewarded not only for cooking but also for party throwing, which should make for an especially good time. The barbecue is at the American Royal Complex, 1201 American Royal Court (816-221-9800).-- Kaufmann
We love hats. Not cheesy baseball caps with advertisements for colleges or sports teams on them, but real hats, which advertise nothing but themselves. Watching the opening credits for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, we envy the grand hat-tossing moment; nobody tosses hats any more. But the good news is that bucket and pillbox hats are making a timid comeback. To stay ahead of that trend, get ideas at the Hats Off to You exhibit at the Bingham-Waggoner Estate (313 West Pacific in Independence, 816-461-3491), where the vintage hats and hat boxes belonging to June Harmon are on display. Most of collection is from the '20s and '30s.-- Kaufmann